Pope Makes More Stuff Up: Animals Go To Heaven… But Not Really

You know what they say, “As a dog returneth to his vomit, a fool returneth to his folly” (Proverbs 26:11). Thus the Pope, in the tradition of all religious leaders throughout human history, returneth to the usual folly of making stuff up.

“The holy scripture teaches us that the fulfillment of this wonderful design also affects everything around us,” said the Holy Father.

Relying heavily on St Paul’s letters to the early Christian communities, Pope Francis reminded everyone that a “new creation” lies ahead.

He added, “It is not an annihilation of the universe and all that surrounds us. Rather it brings everything to its fullness of being, truth and beauty.”[/ref]

Italian daily Corriere della Sera was in no doubt about his meaning. “It broadens the hope of salvation and eschatological beatitude to animals and the whole of creation,” wrote the paper’s Vatican specialist.[1]”Animals also go to heaven suggests Pope,’ Cathnews New Zealand, http://cathnews.co.nz/2014/12/02/animals-also-go-heaven-suggests-pope/. The paper’s specialist was wrong.

More than a trinity of reasons come to mind as to why this is all so annoying. First, many news sources along with the Corriere della Sera confused Francis’s statements with remarks once made by Pope Paul VI,[2]For example http://www.express.co.uk/news/nature/544027/Pope-Francis-given-two-donkeys-Christmas-present. which were clearer on the point of animals going to heaven—Francis’s actual remarks were vague gibberish. Second, it is another example of the church trying to remain relevant and up with the times by sprouting vague allusions to please everyone. Third, it is infuriating that the world still pays attention to the musings of an adult who still believes in fairy tales. Fourth, you invariably get everyone weighing in and spinning the pope’s remarks their own way for their own benefit.

The meat lobby was quick to respond, lest anyone be in danger of giving animals consideration or compassion.

Whether the pope’s remarks will prove to be a persuasive new reason not to eat meat, a potentially worrisome development to the multibillion-dollar beef, pork, poultry and seafood industries, remains unclear at best. But they did cause discussion.

“As on quite a few other things Pope Francis has said, his recent comments on all animals going to heaven have been misinterpreted,” Dave Warner, a spokesman for the National Pork Producers Council, said in an email. “They certainly do not mean that slaughtering and eating animals is a sin.” Mr. Warner quoted passages from Genesis that say man is given “dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on earth.”

“While that ‘dominion’ means use for human benefit, it also requires stewardship — humane care and feeding — something all farmers who raise animals practice every day of every year,” Mr. Warner said.[3]”Dogs in Heaven? Pope Francis Leaves Pearly Gates Open,” New York Times, http://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/12/world/europe/dogs-in-heaven-pope-leaves-pearly-gate-open-.html.

There’s that lie of dominion again, followed by the lie of stewardship, and then the lie of humane practices. The guy was on a roll. Warner’s interpretation of humane is likely to be quite different to the public’s because humane practices are impossible and unprofitable in today’s factory farm operations. In any case, as a meat industry spokesperson, lying agrispin is all part of the job. No surprises there.

But everyone can relax. The Pope’s was misquoted and even if he had said what he is reported to have said it does not represent Catholic doctrine. If he is to be taken literally, then heaven by now must mostly comprise cattle, hogs, chickens, and fish, and not forgetting all the bugs, beetles, and long gone dinosaurs. It’d be overcrowded as hell.

Notes   [ + ]

1. ”Animals also go to heaven suggests Pope,’ Cathnews New Zealand, http://cathnews.co.nz/2014/12/02/animals-also-go-heaven-suggests-pope/.
2. For example http://www.express.co.uk/news/nature/544027/Pope-Francis-given-two-donkeys-Christmas-present.
3. ”Dogs in Heaven? Pope Francis Leaves Pearly Gates Open,” New York Times, http://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/12/world/europe/dogs-in-heaven-pope-leaves-pearly-gate-open-.html.

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